Leeds alternative rockers Pulled Apart By Horses are back. The eccentric band have just put out their fourth full-length album, ‘The Haze’, that shows their creative craziness at its very best. To celebrate the band going out on tour to support the release, we caught up with guitarist Tom Hudson to chat about the new record, different types of shows, and whether that band name gives them any hassle.
DP!: Album no. 4 ‘The Haze’ is out now! How are the reactions to it so far?
Tom: The reactions have been great so far! Even though the music we make is made out of enjoyment and for ourselves, you still want people to dig it. The reviews have been super positive and we’ve had loads of messages from fans who are really into it… a couple of which have said it could even be our best yet. But, y’know… who cares?
DP!: The record was produced by Ross Orton of Cavemen, how did that come about? What did he add to the record in the studio?
Tom: We wrote and demoed most of the tunes before we went into the studio to work with Ross, so a lot of the foundations were already there. I think Ross added a bit of spontaneity and edge to the record, which was what we were looking for. We got on with him really well, it was love at first pint! When you’re recording with him, you record everything a track at a time rather than one big block of drums, then a big block of guitars, then vocals, etc. I think this really helped as it pulled everyone together and you got to really focus on the individual song rather than rattling through a load of different songs all in one day. Doing things this way meant we could change the drums/drum sound with each track, which I thought was awesome.
DP!: Your brand new single ‘Hotel Motivation’ is a song about having writers block, how did it that happen?
Tom: Luckily, we didn’t really suffer from writers block too much when we were writing this album, but I remember having a touch of the writers block with this song. I was sat in my music room at home with a microphone in hand, my laptop, and a pen and paper, but nothing was there. After a while of staring into nothing, I ended up spinning the situation around and started writing lyrics about being trapped in a fictional hotel room facing writers block. I ended up being pretty pleased with how it all came together in the end.
DP!: You’ve always had creatively crazy songs about all kinds of topics, do you have any song themes that were too ridiculous and didn’t make the cut?
Tom: Haha, no. They normally just end up making the cut. The weirder, the better!
DP!: What bands and artists influenced ‘The Haze’? Is it the same type of thing that influenced the self-titled record in 2010?
Tom: Not really… although we probably carry some of the same influences throughout what we do. This record was inspired by a mix of 70s old school rock (Iggy Pop, Stooges, David Bowie, 13th Floor Elevators), and some of the current garage rock/psyche bands that are around at the moment (Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, Fuzz, Meatbodies).
DP!: Your headline tour starts and the end of the month. What can we expect, will it mostly be the new material?
Tom: We’ll be blasting a load of the new tunes… that’s what we’ve spent the past two years writing! What we’ve played so far has been really fun to play live, and I think they’ll transcend well at the shows. We’ll still be playing some older tunes as well though, chucked in here and there. We might even play a cover if we’re feeling like it. It’s always fun on tour to play a cover just to mix things up a bit.
DP!: Festival season is getting closer and closer and you’ve locked in Truck, Y Not, 2000 Trees and more… what are the best festivals to play at? What’s the difference between the festival shows and your own headline shows?
Tom: I think every festival (or at least the good ones) have their own vibe about them. We’ve done all sorts of different ones, Europe do festivals really well. I think my favourite one to play is Pukkelpop; as an artist you get looked after really well and there’s no priority list with the artists there. Everyone’s treated the same, no matter how small or big you are. Also, the crowds are ace there which also helps!
There’s quite a big difference between festivals and headline gigs. At a festival, people are there for the festival and not necessarily you. It’s a pretty good way of making new fans if you can win them over… or it’s a great way to piss a load of people off. Festivals are more intense (no pun intended) because you turn up to a field in the middle of nowhere, unload all your gear, make sure it makes a sound and everything is working… and then you’re playing a gig 40 mins later. At a headline gig, a lot of the people are there to see you so you have a different vibe going on. People ‘get it’ a lot more. You get time to control and craft the show a bit better – more time to sound check and set stuff up how you want it. Plus, at a headline show, you get to pick who’s going to support you which is always cool. We’ve ended up having loads of ace bands support us over the years. On the next tour, we’ve got Tigercub and Thee MVPs; two fucking amazing bands!
DP!: Do you still get people expecting you to be an extreme metal band because of your name?
Tom: Yeah, sometimes. It’s such a stupid name. We probably didn’t make it any easier by making the first logo look like a David Shrigley drawing of a black metal logo!
Pulled Apart By Horses hit the road throughout March and April in support of ‘The Haze’. You can check out the dates below:
MARCH 27 – OXFORD, O2 Academy 2
MARCH 28 – LONDON, Scala
MARCH 29 – BRISTOL, Thekla
MARCH 30 – SOUTHAMPTON, Talking Heads
APRIL 01 – DERBY, 2Q Festival
APRIL 02 – BIRMINGHAM, Mama Roux’s
APRIL 03 – NORWICH, Waterfront Studio
APRIL 05 – GLASGOW, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
APRIL 06 – MANCHESTER, Sound Control
APRIL 07 – NEWCASTLE, Think Tank
APRIL 08 – LEEDS, Brudenell Social Club
‘The Haze’ is out now, and you can order it online now via the band’s official website (here).
Interview by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)